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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  December 8, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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♪ [announcer] p allen smith's garden to table is brought to you by the berry family of nurseries - growers of edibles, hardy trees and shrubs, and fresh holiday greenery. and by the makers of jobe's organic fertilizer now in spikes, granular and water soluble formulas - easy gardener.com. > autumn is a season of change. there's lots going on in the way of days getting shorter, temperatures are dropping, and all of this triggers that transformation of leaves that we see going from green to all of those miraculous colors. it's also a season of abundance. there's so much coming in with regard to the harvest which allows us to get creative in our homes and in the kitchen and that's what today's show is all about, so let's get started. ♪
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let's talk about garlic. now we all know it has a role in the kitchen, but did you know that garlic has some medicinal qualities that we might want to think about. for instance, garlic has well antibacterial and antiviral properties. it can also be used to bolster your immune system. that's garlic. you see it's been used for medicinal purposes for a long time. in fact, we have records of garlic being used by ancient cultures back thousands and thousands of years. it was also used in the first world war to fight off infection and to treat gangrene. and then there's rosemary, an amazing fragrance. in fact, in the middle ages
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this fragrance was meant to have a tranquilizing effect on you. it was used to help stop headaches. i'm not so sure that works, i prefer using my rosemary on grilled chicken. then you've got mint. there's all kinds of mints to choose from out there. we certainly recognize today that mint is one of those herbs that can sort of calm an upset stomach. but during greek times mint was used as sort of an after bath lotion. let's face it if you only took a bath once every month or so i'm not sure mint would really help that much, what do you think? hey if you've heard of how some of these herbs might have been used or how you use them today post them on my facebook page. ♪
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recently i received this herb vinegar as a gift and it reminded me of well you can actually make these herb vinegars and also flavored oils very easily in your own kitchen. they're great for giving as gifts. they're also wonderful for using in the kitchen for cooking all sorts of things and well they're also beautiful as a decorative element in the kitchen. let me show you just how easy it is. for a marinade what i like to do is just take some rosemary. you can see i've just got some stems of rosemary that i've cut out of the garden here. you really want the aroma to come through. gently bruising the rosemary by just taking a spoon and just stroking the leaves like this will release some of those essential oils. now just drop the rosemary down in the bottle. now over here i just have some ordinary white vinegar and it's just coming to a boil and that's what you want. you can just see the bubbles
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coming up around the edge. so what i'm going to do now is just take this warmed vinegar if not hot vinegar, you want to be careful here, and just pour it into this bottle. you'll notice i made sure that the stems were well below or just below the neck of the bottle. now all i'll have to do is take a cork and put it in the top of the bottle, but i'll wait for this to completely cool. now you're probably asking how long is this going to last? well you want to keep these vinegars in an out of direct light place and if you do that they'll last up to say four months, in the refrigerator about six months. now let's talk about oils for just a moment while this cools. in this case i'm going to use some olive oil. i'm just going to take another bottle and i like to use this in a salad dressing and this is where i take just a bundle of well dried fresh thyme leaves, and i'm just going to bruise them gently with the spoon here and then i'm going to drop these down into the bottle. now with this i'm going to actually add some peppercorns.
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these are really good in salad. about two teaspoons of dried lemon rind. and then i'm just going to take a really nice olive oil and i'm going to fill this up with olive oil. see look at that, isn't that beautiful? now what you want to do is, whether it's the vinegar or the oil you want this to sit for about two weeks before you use it. again, it's all about distribution of flavor in there. you're getting the idea here. what you want to do is come up with your own little blend, your own little flavor. have a little fun with it. flavor your world. ♪
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you know, when the temperatures cool off in the fall many of my herbs flush again, so i have a very simple salad recipe for you that is really delicious and allows you to take advantage of the wonderful flavors of these herbs in many different ways. what you're going to start with is about a cup of spinach. we grow a lot of spinach here at the farm, beautiful, fresh spinach. and then you're just going to take three herbs and what i've done is just coarsely chopped them. i'm starting with some tarragon and in fact the tarragon leaves are so small i'm taking a fourth of a cup of tarragon leaves and then i'm going to add a fourth of a cup of flat leaf italian parsley, love that stuff, so good. and then some chives, just a fourth of a cup of those. you can see i've coarsely minced those.
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all these flavors combine and make a nice salad. what i'm going to do is just sort of blend all of this together. and you can take these quantities and multiply them out based on how many people you may be having over for dinner. and then what i do is i take about two tablespoons of this rosemary infused olive oil. you can see that there. and then about one tablespoon of rosemary infused vinegar. and that's really about all it takes. and then i take some salt, some sea salt, about a half teaspoon and then here just some pepper, and then just mix all that together like this. i wish you could smell these marvelous aromas. you've got to really great basic salad. it's low calorie. you can add lots of things from here like a hardboiled egg, a piece of roasted salmon, grilled chicken, anything you like, but it's really good.
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give it a try. ♪ if you haven't given sweet potatoes a real chance, you should now. if you haven't used them in a while, i'm going to give you a very good reason to. they're not only delicious but they're good for you. and speaking of good for you here's a recipe from a great friend of mine who shared it with me while i was visiting her in natchez, mississippi. you know regina i've always admired the way you combine interesting things, and this recipe using sweet potatoes in a salad i think is a real knockout. >> oh, thank you. well you know i cook so much and i have to say one of my favorite ingredients are sweet potatoes. i just love them. > you can use them in so many ways. >> and they're so underutilized. so we took three medium sweet
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potatoes and peeled them. i love having a sous chef dicing for me. > i love cooking with you. >> i love it when somebody is doing the hard work for me. > now i preheated the oven at 425. >> that's right. what we're going to do is put them on the roasting pan and i sprayed it with oil. always do that if you're going to roast a vegetable. you don't want them stacked, but i like pushing them together like that. and it's pretty simple we're just going to drizzle some olive oil and you don't have to use real expensive olive oil for this. > save your good stuff for salad dressing. >> that's right. and then i'm going to take some kosher salt, you can go lighter on the salt if you want. i'm a salt kind of girl. i like salt. and that's that good cracked black pepper. that's just my favorite. i think if you're going to use pepper when it's cracked like that you really get more of the flavor. and in a salad that's going to be a great thing. > i'm going to go throw these in the oven. >> that would be great. we're going to do those at 425 for just about 20
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minutes, 25 minutes. and for this dressing we're going to do a creole mustard vinaigrette. it just really goes well with the sweet potatoes and the spinach. so you're going to add one shallot, a small shallot. and then i'm going to do three tablespoons of creole mustard. half a lemon, two tablespoons, so that looks just perfect. and then i'm going to add a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and two tablespoons of brown sugar. there's that little sweetness. now what i'm going to do is puree these ingredients. then what i like to do is add my oil slowly for a little creamier dressing. i'm putting a little dressing on the spinach, and if you have my roasted sweet potatoes? oh, thank you, you've already put them in a bowl for me. i appreciate that. > they're still a little warm. >> yeah, which i really like that texture.
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the nice thing about spinach it can support a little heat without wilting too much. then i'm going to drizzle a little of that. > you could do these sweet potatoes ahead of time and keep them in the fridge. >> absolutely. and then you've got the tartness of the cranberries and that pretty color. this would be a great holiday salad, but it's really good anytime. these are the peppered pecans with that sugar and caramelized. again we've got that heat. > it's just so beautiful. it's always a pleasure to cook with you. >> well i love cooking with you, you know that. you know that. > you're the best. >> you know once you've tasted a really good fresh apple variety it's hard to well get excited about one that would be mediocre. i just love apples. you know apples are so popular. the apple is actually related to the rose,
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although they don't taste anything like one another. now we've all heard the saying an apple a day will keep the doctor away. well, apples are a fat, sodium and cholesterol-free food. one apple has around 80 calories in it. so eating an apple a day is both good for you and a delicious way to eat healthy. since the traditional harvest time for apples is the fall, apples have spawned all sorts of merriment and games like bobbing for apples. another way, a more reasonable way to enjoy the flavor of an apple is in little bite size pieces and that's the basis of this recipe that i want to show you next. you're going to want to serve it at your next party. it's really good. ♪
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if you've never grown gourds, you've never really lived. they're a lot of fun. let me tell you about the hanging gourd gardens of moss mountain farm. they start right here. you see this big long arbor, well it's perfect for growing a fast growing vine, and when i talk about a fast growing vine gourds you will not believe. i've got some seed down here you'll see. i've kind of worked up this area. gourds love lots of sun concede that climate change is a real problem anywhere in the world. >> i think is immaterial to discussions about the legal framework of the clean air act. i get torial or not, ask three questions. it is material to my question. let's go on to something else. nermeen: sheldon whitehouse
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questioning oklahoma attorney general scott pruitt last year. trump's selection of pruitt has been widely criticized by environmental groups and lawmakers concerned about the climate change crisis. senator bernie sanders said -- "pruitt's record is not only that of being a climate change denier, but also someone who has worked closely with the fossil fuel industry to make this country more dependent, not less, on fossil fuels." amy: environmental working group president ken cook, said -- "it's a safe assumption that pruitt could be the most hostile epa administrator toward clean air and safe drinking water in history." to talk more about scott pruitt, we are joined by two guests. here in new york, may boeve is executive director of 350 action, the political arm of the climate organization 350.org. and joining us from washington , d c, is wenonah hauter, the executive director of food & water watch. wenonah hauter, let's begin with you. oklahoma attorney general scott
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pruitt cap to head the epa. your response? >> i first ran into scott pruitt when i was writing my recent book on the history of the oil and gas industry. i saw that he was one of the leading attorney generals lobbying on what he called sue and settle legislation, which we has the rightenry to sue the federal government when the government is not doing what is in their best interest. he was lobbying in favor of dev on and continental resources in trying to stop the ability of citizens to actually move forward with lawsuits. i think putting pruitt in charge of the epa is a lot like putting one of the three stooges in charge of the agency. credible on any
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of the issues around the environment. incan look at what he did 2013 when he brought nine attorney generals to oklahoma city, some of the most powerful law firms that represent the energy industry, along with the ceos of many energy companies, to put together a scheme about how they were going to stop the federal government from taking action to stop the pollution from fossil fuel, drilling, and fracking. this was paid for by the right-wing energy and law institute at george mason university. the fossil fuel industry actually helped raise the money to put him in office. and one of the first things he did upon becoming the attorney general of oklahoma was to start a committee on federalism.
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because what is unfortunate is he auitt, not only cartoon character, but he is a very smart politician. and he saw the possibility of creating what is a lot like a national law firm made up of attorney general's and also the legal arm of the energy industry to be able to not only hassle the epa, it also what was going on at state legislatures regarding fossil fuel development. so i think he is a very dangerous character. i think he is going to attempt to destroy the environmental protection agency. and not just in the area of fossil fuels, but also around the pollution from factory farming and industrialized
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agriculture. he has been an ally of the big corporations that own these large animal factories. in fact, there was legislation that was turned down in oklahoma in the last election called freedom to farm, which of course, really means freedom of factory farms to pollute. so we know because the epa has not done a real great job of regulating factory farms anyway, that we're going to see a lot of trouble ahead. nermeen: may boeve, in the news release that announced his nomination, the trump transition team called pruitt in expert in constitutional law and said he " brings a deep understanding of the impact of regulation on both the environment and the economy." could you respond to that?
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in particular, the significance of him being a constitutional lawyer? >> business surprise he knows about the impact of regulation because the regulations were starting to work. we were starting to see real pressure on the oil and gas industry on the issue of climate change, and they are pushing back. they are celebrating that scott pruitt has been selected for this role. so his expertise in this area mean he is going to try to dismantle the foundation of laws that this country has built around environmental protection. most significantly right now are the regulations that have been plants,lace around coal fracking. they're not nearly as strong as they need to be, but we certainly need the ones that we have. this is a very dangerous appointment. it cannot be overstated. it shows us exactly what we need to know about donald trump. amy: i want to go back to oklahoma attorney general scott heitt's appearance when
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testified about his legal fight against president obama's clean power plan regulations. >> i think what is lost in the debate at times as the impact on consumers. those that will be consuming electricity in the future. in the state of oklahoma, between coal and natural gas, 78 percent of our electricity is generated. as i indicated, 15% of our electricity is generated through wind. the choice is available to the state of oklahoma to comply with this mandate from the epa of reducing co2 by over 30% -- it puts us in the position of having to make decisions about the shattering of coal generation, which makes up over 40% of our electricity generation. that will increase cost consumers.ly to for example, in the clean air act, there's something called the regional haze statute. alone, 15% to
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20% increases in generation of electricity with just one rule. others, itbine the will obviously be substantially more than that in the future for consumers in the state of obama. >> so these regulations would directly hurt the people of oklahoma. >> some of those who can least afford it. amy: there you have scott pruitt testifying before the senate. wenonah hauter, respond to what pruitt has just said. >> we see this all the time when energy is discussed. really, what we need to do is be moving into a more an energyicient and future that relies on renewable energy. this would create many jobs and it would also solve many of the problems that are going to cost taxpayers a lot of money as we see the problems from climate change really snowball. it is interesting that pruitt
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and his allies have attacked the clean power plan. i don't think they completely understand what the plan does. coal,tainly disadvantages which is a very, very dirty fossil fuel, but states are able to make their own plans. and one of the criticisms of the plan has been it really incentivizes natural gas. -- these, coal is being industry is being destroyed because the amount of fossil for that has been cracked has increased so much that coal is now a higher price. i think what we're going to see at epa is a real attack on anything that protects people or the environment.
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this is really disturbing because attorney generals are supposed to be the attorneys for the people. and pruitt clearly is an attorney for the fossil fuel industry. and we are going to have to unite against pruitt and the policies that he is going to put forward. fracked talked about oil. i want to talk specifically about oklahoma, where residents have filed a class-action lawsuit against fracking -- companies. cushing bills itself as the pipeline crossroads of the world and home to above ground tanks that store millions of barrels of crude oil. scientists believe wastewater disposal wells from oil and gas fracking are linked to the dramatic rise in earthquakes in oklahoma recently. oklahoma experienced 907
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magnitude three plus earthquakes in 2015. for 2008, an average of only one into earthquakes of 3.0 magnitude each year. your response to that, may boeve ? >> this is telling of what we will see more of. recently, we heard from the chief of a pawnee reservation that had three earthquakes that one day. here we have someone who wants to do more drilling, who was there to be more earthquakes in oklahoma. it is clearly not concerned about the people who live in that state and all of the people in other states around this country who suffer from the impacts of fracking. instead, he's going to make the pathway to more oil and gas development much smoother for his allies in the industry. but the good news here, if there is any, is the climate movement has focused on fossil fuel infrastructure and won incredible victories at the local and state level.
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if he intends to expand drilling, we will be there at every turn ready to resist. nermeen: what do you think the climate movement should be doing in response to this? >> we have to be clear eyed about what we're up against. trump has been saying two different stories about climate change. on the one hand, maybe he is repositioning -- revisiting his position. on the other hand, he is making an appointed like this. no one should be under the illusion we are going to see any sort of continuation of the progress we have seen on climate action. what the movement needs to do is be strong and unified and fight back on all of these decisions and appointments. and also, we can grow our movement.
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for that. amy: scott pruitt is donald trumps choice, and that is what is key, his view on climate, the environment. may boeve, one of the desk a couple of the choices that have been bandied about, media speculated about for secretary of state, are the current and past presidents of exxon. can you talk about scott pruitt's relationship with exxon as attorney general of oklahoma? >> welcome on the subject of a, it is devastating that the ceo of exxon would be considered for secretary of state. just to be completely clear. amy: they say it means he has global experience. >> it is disastrous as even an idea. scott pruitt joined forces with other attorneys general backing up exxon when it came under fire for its climate denial. there is an investigation underway into just how long ago
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exxon knew about climate change and funded a disinformation campaign. naturally, our government is doing its job in trying to find out how much they knew and when and exxon has gathered around its allies at the state level, including attorney general scott pruitt, to back it up. so we are seeing exxon try to use its freedom of speech july the public about climate change, and we're seeing climate deniers heading out for the epa. amy: how does exxon affect you at 350? ourxxon has come after organization and many of our allies. we have received a subpoena from a representative of the state of texas and another subpoena from exxon directly. we are fighting back, but this is the kind of thing we can always expect to see more of under a trump administration. we have to fight back. they are not playing around. greenpeace,ws from
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trump's top energy advisor in cr the largest fracking company, 2013hair of pruitt's reelection campaign for attorney general in oklahoma, more recently made news as a proponent to the dakota access pipeline. it is his company's practice oil that would have flown -- flow through the pipeline if it had been completed. wenonah hauter, if you could talk about this. donald trump has vowed, says he supports the dakota access pipeline, not their how much he personally has invested in the pipeline. last we knew between $500,000 and $1 million. one of his spokespeople said he has sold that and there is his investment in phillips 66 that would also profit. for trumphis means when he becomes president, scott pruitt if he becomes the head of the epa, what it means for the dakota access pipeline.
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the army corps of engineers at this point says it will not grant final permit to drill under the missouri river. advisoras also been an on energy issues to the trump campaign. and they have been associated for the last several years. so we can see that when trump comes into office, he is going to probably try to attack or president obama has done on the dakota access line. and we can see there is really an unholy alliance here. companyamm's continental resources is one of the largest frackers for oil. 80% of fracking since 2012 has been for oil. and much of it from the dakotas. and the industry is desperate to get the oil out for overseas
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delivery, and that is why the export ban was released as part of the omnibus budget bill in 2015. so we see there is going to have to be a concerted efforts to make the connections between these fossil fuel corporations and the trump administration very clear, and we're going to have to hammer it home. i also want to say that i think standing rock in the massive movement that has been created out of this terrible debacle that the false of fuel industry to the siouxbring tribe in north dakota, we're
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seeing that kind of infrastructure development all over the country. there are thousands of miles of pipeline. atcan make a lot of progress the state level on some of these issues. and it is completely true what may says about the movement. the movement is growing. we need to be there during the process for confirming pruitt and really bringing to light what he stands for and what is going to happen to our environment and climate. amy: i want as quickly, a lot has been made of this meeting that president-elect donald trump has had with his daughter ivanka and al gore on the issue of climate change. >> he can have all of the meetings he want the makes it sound like he cares about this issue but if he makes a point at i guess, we know exactly where he stands, which is supporting
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more drilling, more fracking -- which we know causes, change. amy: we will leave it there, wenonah hauter and may boeve. when we come back, a faithless elector. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: a republican member of the electoral college has come out saying he will not vote for president-elect donald trump when the electoral college convenes december 19. christopher suprun, a paramedic from texas, wrote in an op-ed published in "the new york times" monday "trump is not qualified for the office of the
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presidency." he goes on to write -- "the election of the next president is not yet a done deal. electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience." suprun is the first republican member of the electoral college to publicly announce he won't vote for trump, but there are reports of other so-called faithless electors. meanwhile, a group of democratic electors is trying to block trump by encouraging electors of both parties in every state to unite behind a yet-to-be determined consensus republican candidate. they've dubbed themselves the "hamilton electors" after founding father alexander hamilton, who they say intended the electoral college to safeguard the presidency. this is democrat bret chiafalo, a "hamilton elector" from washington. >> the electoral college is our
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failsafe mechanism. we have never used to before. but our country has never needed it before. we have always elected experienced statesman. but this time is different. this is the moment hamilton and madison warned us about. this is the emergency they built the electoral college for. it is our constitutional duty and moral responsibility to put the emergency measures into action. if only 37 change their vote, donald trump will not have the 270 electoral votes he needs to be president. 37 people can save this country. amy: electors are typically selected by their state's party leaders. according to fairvote, 29 states have laws forbidding electors from bucking the will of their voters. however, 21, including texas, have no binding restrictions. historically, it's extremely rare for electors to dissent and, so far, no elector has changed the outcome of an election by voting against his or her party's designated candidate.
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for more we go now to dallas, , texas, where we're joined by christopher suprun. his fees for the "new york times" titled, "why i will not cast my electoral vote for donald trump." talk about how you came to this decision. >> painfully, i intended to support the nominee. unfortunately, mr. trump has proven again and again he is not qualified for the office. he is a complete demagogue, as we've seen for the past 18 months, up until last night where he picked on a steelworker who had to say something about his jobs plan for carrier. that is a scary thought. when you are simple steelworker, union boss, in a factory in indiana, you question the president and he comes after you 30 minutes later. i'm not sure what the president is going to do with north korea says something even worse about him in international relations. which brings up the second reason why he is not qualified. 50 of my republican colleagues were national security and
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foreign-policy experts said mr. trump would be a danger if you were president. where he hasthat exacerbated situations in taiwan and china with his change in the one china policy or what appears to be a change, and beyond that, part of the issue with taiwan was it appeared to be a sales call. mr. trump cannot profit off the office of the president. it appears every time he calls another country, it is to sell a trump property. , can you talkn about what the response has been to your decision not to support trump? >> which response? anre is feedback saying i'm awful person, a traitor, i saw a tweet a while ago that said i should live out the rest of my life and gitmo -- which is a scary thought when a person takes a conscious decision to vote their conscience that our answer is to charge them with treason, even verbally. the other feedback i've received from across texas in my county
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and across the country and even outside the country has been positive. americans of all shape and form have said to me, you have restored my faith in america that maybe we can still be that great country we should be. amy: talk about how it works. what will happen on december 19? where do you go and what will you do? >> electors from each state will go to the respective state capital and then cast ballots -- i believe it is a six page form. each ballot goes through different person. you write in a name. it is not a tickle ballot at the ballot box on the november election were you check a box. this is my first time participating in the process. you write in a name. nermeen: how reselected, christopher suprun, to join the electoral college? >> i was elected at the republican state convention in may. the texas republican state
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convention, not the national. amy: 29 states have laws permitting electors from bucking the will of the people of the state. texas is not one of them. texas is one of the 21 that have no binding restrictions. explain how it works for you when you will vote not for president trump, and how it works for others in other states. >> well, again, as i just described, i think i will place a name of a person who i think has great executive and legislative experience and can unite the country. i think we're going to go through the basic process -- i'm not entirely sure what that is. as i understand it, the secretary of state will provide is that information we arrived that morning. in terms of other states, i think that have a similar process, though i am not sure how they're going to be different in what the binding laws -- if they're even going to
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exist. there's a lawsuit i believe in colorado to overturn that function. amy: who are you going to vote for? >> i don't know. i am in a to liberation's phase. i said in my op-ed i think john kasich would be a great person. while i know he is a climbed it, when i speak to other electors, there is one name that comes up as an acceptable alternative over and over ani am not sure ws going to be, but i think there will be like governor kasich. amy: do you know of other governor -- other electors that are likely to join you in opposing trump? ready to sayre i'm that. when i wrote the op-ed, it was so i could be accountable for my vote. i did not want to go to austin and cast a vote of appeasement and simply write in donald trump because i was lazy. but since that time, i've had a number of people reach out to me. i am not ready to tell you who
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they are or what they are, but i don't think i will be alone. amy: there is a change.org petition asking you be removed as a gop member under >> if there is a link, i get those tweets all the time. people say, where can i sign up? i try to refer to them to change.org. this is a great country. i'm so glad i live in america were people have the first amendment right to tell me they think i am wrong. i'm ok with that. fill out the petition and we will go through the process. if there is a process to remove me, i will oppose it, i was like but that is how democracy works. amy: larry lessig, free and legal support any electoral college elector who chooses to vote his or her conscience. writings robert jackson in 1952 saying "no one faithful to our history can deny the plan
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originally contemplated that electors would be free agents to exercise an independent and nonpartisan judgment as to the men best qualified for the nation's highest offices." your response to that, christopher suprun? >> he has reached out to me. havee been lucky enough to him help represent me. i believe he will be representing me going forward. i agree with the statement completely. this is what the electoral college is for, so we do not elect a demagogue, someone who could not practice it national defense of the country appropriately, and one who has played fast and loose with the rules. amy: do you consider yourself a hamilton elector? >> in the sense i'm voting my conscience, absolutely. amy: did you ever think you would be in this position, chris? >> no. i am an average person.
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i'm a paramedic firefighter. i responded to the 9/11 event. for me, that was the last time our nation was united and unified. i wish we could get back to that point. unfortunately, i see again, doesks on first amendment anyone trump does not believe is appropriate or worthy are perhaps the right color, he attacks them. that is not america and that is not what we want as a nation, i don't think. amy: i want to thank you for being with us, christopher suprun republican presidential , elector, one of the 538 people asked to choose officially the president of the united states. we will link to our peace in the "new york times" titled, "why i will not cast my electoral vote for donald trump." when we come back, we are one to talk about the recount, how it is going to michigan and pennsylvania and wisconsin. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: a shout out to the students at hunter college media studies department who are here visiting today. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: on wednesday, a federal judge ordered michigan's board of elections to stop the state's electoral recount. u.s. district judge mark goldsmith said he would abide by a court ruling that found that former green party presidential candidate jill stein could not seek a recount. goldsmith concluded -- "a recount as an audit of the election has never been endorsed by any court." stein has pledged to continue to push for a recount. michigan is one of three battleground states where stein had demanded a recount. the other two states are wisconsin and pennsylvania. president-elect donald trump narrowly defeated democratic presidential contender hillary
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clinton in all three states. the recount has faced hurdles from the outset. in pennsylvania, the recount must wait at least until a federal court hearing on friday, just four days before the december 13 federal deadline for states to certify their election results. in wisconsin, the recount is more than 70% complete. clinton has gained just 82 votes on trump, who won the state by more than 22,000 votes. meanwhile, in florida, three voters have sued to demand a hand recount of the paper ballots, alleging the presidential election was skewed by hacking and malfunctioning voter machines. trump was declared the winner of florida by more than 112,000 votes. amy: to talk more about the recount, we're joined now by john bonifaz, attorney and political activist specializing in constitutional law and voting rights. of a group of leading election one lawyers and computer scientists calling for a recount in wisconsin, michigan, and pennsylvania. bonifaz is founder of the
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national voting rights institute and cofounder and president of free speech for people. welcome to democracy now! talk about the latest, what has happened in michigan, the halting of the recount. >> last night a federal judge halted it on the grounds the state report ruling should stand, which found jill stein, the presidential candidates seeking a recount in michigan, is not an aggrieved party. this is a misreading of the state law and an outrage that the voters in michigan will not have their votes properly counted. the fact is, in this country, we do not have mandatory audits in most states for verifying. we are led to believe the machine tallies on election night is what the outcome actually was. we do not look at the ballots. 75% uses paper ballots, but we never use those ballots. that is what we're starting in michigan. we were doing a hand count. it has been halted. now we have 75,000 blank votes
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for president that will never be reviewed with a 10,000 votes margin. it is an outrage for our democracy. amy: can it be appealed? >> it will be appealed to the michigan supreme court. this is a partisan decision made by the state appeals court. these are judicial elections in the state of michigan and their partisans on the supreme court. while the appeal is pending, i think it is unfortunate they may not take it up in a timely basis. nermeen: john, in wisconsin 70%e the recount is almost complete, clinton has just gained 82 votes on trump. >> but it is important to note that while some counties have agreed to hand count the ballots, others are not. they're feeding the ballots through the very same machines they gave us the tallies on election night. believing computer scientist from m.i.t. says that if i going to the same doctor for a second opinion. it makes no sense.
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what we needed in wisconsin was a full statewide recount of all of the ballots hand-counted and there are other systems in the state of wisconsin, unlike in michigan, that don't have any paper ballots. they also exist in pennsylvania. the systems have been proven to vulnerable.e and amy: last month, democracy now! spoke to bruce schneier about the recount. >> there are anomalies in the results that seem to correlate with voting machine -- that is a wretch like for hacking and something we should look at and we should definitely research this. my guess it isn't. my guess is there are some confounding variable that the machine type is correlated to demographic in some way. but we don't actually know until we do the research.
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my worry right now is the recount -- that process was designed decades ago when it meant counting the ballots slower and more carefully. it did not mean looking at the voting machines for forensic evidence of hacking. i am not convinced even after the recount there will be no more. ?my: john bonifaz >> he is right. stein's attorneys are going before judge tamara to make the case, why voting machines should be examined. these election laws have been written long before these voting machines appeared on scene. they appeared after the florida 2000 election debacle. private voting machine companies sold these systems to states throughout the country, and now they have been banned in many states. california did a top to bottom review of electronic voting systems and others and attorneys particular voting machines where you touch on the screen, your choices for president or any
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other office, that they in fact are vulnerable to hacking, unreliable, and should be banned altogether in the state of california. pennsylvania still uses them for most, wisconsin for some of theirs. what we need when we engage in a recount is an examination of those machines. so far, that has not been granted. that is why there's a federal court hearing tomorrow on this. nermeen: donald trump senior advisor kellyanne conway dismissed the recount efforts during an interview last month on fox news. >> their president barack obama is going to be an office for eight more weeks and they have to decide whether they're going to interfere with them finishing his business, interfering with a peaceful transition -- transfer of power, or if there are going to be a bunch of cry babies and sore losers about an election they cannot turn around. , canen: john bonifaz you talk about how trump has been responded to the recount effort? >> the republican party and trump campaign a showed up in
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every single one of the states to stop these recounts. when i was involved in ohio in 2014 the recount there, the election officials of the part of the state were friendly and others were resisting. thebush campaign and republican party never showed up. th were not involved in trying to stop the recount. it is very different here. wisconsin republican party has pushed to stop it in wisconsin. is showing upaign in federal court tomorrow to try to stop this case from going forward. what are they afraid of? what are they afraid of we're going to properly verify the process? in any functioning democracy, we should verify the vote will stop it amazes me we would want to have a cloud go over this election and continue into this next presidency without verifying the vote. we should be entitled as voters to ensure the integrity of our process is protected.
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there are two explanations for what happened on election day. one explanation is there was a huge hidden subset of voters who live to the pollsters were chose not to respond to the pollsters and showed up on election day. that is believable or not believable depending on where you sit, but it is one explanation. another explanation is that the election was compromised. we ought to engage in verifying the vote to determine which occurred, the people of the united states have a right to know that. nermeen: there's a third explanation people give, namely there are number of people who came out to vote who had not voted before so they were not contacted by pollsters. >> you are right. a voter percent -- voter suppression occurred prior. that is a next one nation. that is part of what i suggest may have been the hidden subset of voters. but we will never know if we don't verify the vote, and we also know there was serious
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concern at all levels of the united states government about foreign interference leading up to election day. and somehow we decide we're going to move on and not verify the vote after this election. it is amazing. amy: you are one of the main figures who pushed jill stein to do this recount. some have criticized his saying, why are you just choosing the states where hillary clinton lost? these were the three states that were the closest margin of victory for donald trump. they were the three states were all of the polls show leading into the election day would have a different result. i think if we had mandatory audits drought the country, that would be far better. level.t to audit every but these were the three states that were most concerning given what happened. i think the clinton campaign should have asked for these recounts.
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the trump campaign should show up and support these recounts. we all as americans should want to verify the vote. amy: you just heard our conversation with the faceless elector. overall, what would make you rest most easily when it comes to voting and how we choose our president? >> i think we need a lot of reforms to protect our democracy. the faceless electors is important move that mr. suprun are voting their conscience. who won 2.7body million more votes than the declared winner. this is -- we need to abolish the electoral college and get big money out of politics. we need a lot of improvement. all hands on deck for fighting for our democracy john bonifaz, thank you for joining us. a very happy birthday to carla
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wills!
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